Geographic variation in the utilization and survival associated with oxaliplatin chemotherapy in patients with stage III colon cancer

Janki M Panchal, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background: Overall objectives of this dissertation are to examine the geographic variation and socio-demographic disparities (by age, race and gender) in the utilization and survival of newly FDA-approved chemotherapy agents (Oxaliplatin-containing regimens) as well as to determine the cost-effectiveness of Oxaliplatin in a large nationwide and population-based cohort of Medicare patients with resected stage-III colon cancer. Methods: A retrospective cohort of 7,654 Medicare patients was identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results – Medicare linked database. Multiple logistic regression was performed to examine the relationship between receipt of Oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy and geographic regions while adjusting for other patient characteristics. Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the effect of Oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy on the survival variation across regions using 2004-2005 data. Propensity score adjustments were also made to control for potential bias related to non-random allocation of the treatment group. We used Kaplan-Meier sample average estimator to calculate the cost of disease after cancer-specific surgery to death, loss-to follow-up or censorship. Results: Only 51% of the stage-III patients received adjuvant chemotherapy within three to six months of colon-cancer specific surgery. Patients in the rural regions were approximately 30% less likely to receive Oxaliplatin chemotherapy than those residing in a big metro region (OR=0.69, p=0.033). The hazard ratio for patients residing in metro region was comparable to those residing in big metro region (HR: 1.05, 95% CI: 0.49-2.28). Patients who received Oxalipaltin chemotherapy were 33% less likely to die than those received 5-FU only chemotherapy (adjusted HR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.41-1.11). KMSA-adjusted mean payments were almost 2.5 times higher in the Oxaliplatin-containing group compared to 5-FU only group ($45,378 versus $17,856). When compared to no chemotherapy group, ICER of 5-FU based regimen was $12,767 per LYG, and ICER of Oxaliplatin-chemotherapy was $60,863 per LYG. Oxaliplatin was found economically dominated by 5-FU only chemotherapy in this study population. Conclusion: Chemotherapy use varies across geographic regions. We also observed considerable survival differences across geographic regions; the difference remained even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics. The cost-effectiveness of Oxaliplatin in Medicare patients may be over-estimated in the clinical trials. Our study found 5-FU only chemotherapy cost-effective in adjuvant settings in patients with stage-III colon cancer.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Panchal, Janki M, "Geographic variation in the utilization and survival associated with oxaliplatin chemotherapy in patients with stage III colon cancer" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3522214.